Best saddle pad for a heavy rider?
So I got my brother-in-law's name for Christmas. I've decided I want to get him a new saddle pad. So I hope you guys can help me decide what I need!
He's 6'1 and weighs 280 lbs. He rides a 15 hh qh mare that is 19. He ropes off of her. She is starting to develop a light sway back. I want to get a pad that will help cushion the horse's back.
He was raised by an old-school cowboy (my father-in-law) who doesn't believe in all this namby pamby saddle has to fit the horse nonsense. So my brother-in-law just puts two thick pads on her and throws his huge 40 lb roping saddle on her and heads to the roping pen. The mare was born right here on our farm, so he's ridden this horse forever.
The good news is that he did just recently buy him a 5 year old gelding that is larger and is going to be his replacement roping horse. Anyway I'm straying from the subject.
So what does everyone suggest for a saddle pad?
Get a wither relief pad - they normally help with swaybacks and he can layer it with a thick pad for additional comfort (for the horse anyway, lol).
He said something about a gel pad a while back. Would those be good?
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Gel can form hard spots. There are sway back pads available. I've taken egg crate foam and cut wedges and placed them on top of the pad. The thickest part of the wedge is beside the spine with the edge tapering toward the lower edge of the bars. Double padding can cause the bars to pinch behind the shoulders and the rear of the saddle to float, without resolving bridging. Some horses become rather stoic about pain and will keep going.
Since you don't know if the saddle it too large or too small, it's hard to make a suggestion. The best brand pad I've ever used (and I'm using now) is made by 5star. 100% wool and great resilience.
I use a 1" but it will depend on how the saddle fits the horse - regarless of what the FIL says.
I looked at the 5star pads, but I can't afford that. Lol, MAYBE if it was for myself... :) Anyway, here's what I ended up getting:
Reinsman Orthopedic Navajo Square Pad - Statelinetack.com
I had that pad for my gelding years ago, I really liked it a lot. Sadly some jerk stole it when they got kicked out of the barn(along with the saddle that went with it and some other stuff!) Enough ranting tho, I think that is a great pad, my old gelding is also swaybacked and it was great for him.
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